Hotel Taki no Yu

Hotel Taki no Yu, whose name means water of the waterfall, is part of the Tateshina hot spring area in Nagano Prefecture. The hotel is built next to a beautiful river and features many outdoor baths that offer a scenic view on the river.

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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Chino-shi
District : Kitayama
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Chino-shi > Kitayama

Flower festival in Nagano

The flower festival of the city of Nagano is held every year in early May. For the occasion, Chuo-Dori, the main street leading to Zenko-ji Temple, is covered with flower mosaics. Cultural performances, such as the lion dance, are also held during the festival. It is also a great chance to enjoy a good Matcha ice cream!

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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Nagano
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Nagano

Hirugami Grand Hotel Tenshin

Hirugami is a popular hot spring area surrounded by the Japanese Alps in the southern part of Nagano Prefecture. Many Onsen Hotels are located next to a river sourced by the pure mountain streams. You can enjoy a walk along the river before indulging a warm and relaxing bath.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Achi-mura
District : Chisato
Getting around
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Achi-mura > Chisato

Earth Celebration

Every year, Kodo, one of Japan’s best taiko ensembles, hosts a summertime music festival on their home island of Sado. The festival takes place in Ogi, a small town (but quite big for Sado standard) nearby Kodo village where the members of Kodo live and train.

During the three days of the festival, many cultural and artistic activities focused on Sado’s traditions and taiko drums are held in the vicinity of Ogi. Each evening, a big show is held on the main stage of the festival. While the last show usually features Kodo’s classics, others feature invited guests (this year featured Braman, a metal band). After the festival is over, Kodo bids farewell to their visitors by performing on the dock in front of the departing ferry. As the sound of the drums fades away, one already thinks of coming back to Earth Celebration.

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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Niigata-ken
City : Sado-shi
District : Ogimachi
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Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogimachi

Charming scenery of Ogi town in Sado

This collection of photos was taken on our way to the Yajima-Kyojima park for a ride of Taraibune. The area west of Ogi features rice paddies, traditional Japanese architecture and charming narrow streets. Walking around that region is a great way to experience the beauty of Sado while staying in Ogi.

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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Niigata-ken
City : Sado-shi
District : Ogi
Getting around
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Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogi

Shukunegi

The village of Shukunegi was developped in the late 17th century and thrived from the shipbuilding industry. The skilled workmen used their skills to build their houses, sometimes in unusual ways. Many of these houses are preserved in Shukunegi. The village is made of narrow stone paths leading to beautiful historical houses. Visitors may also visit Shokoji temple wich is located behind the village.

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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Shukunegi
    Getting around
    Directions to "Shukunegi" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Shukunegi

    Sengokubune Exhibition Hall – Boat Museum in Shukunegi

    The Hakusan Maru is a newly built sengokubune (a wooden freight ship used for transporting goods). It is on exhibit at the Sengokubune Exhibition Hall close to the village of Shukunegi. The museum’s exhibit explains the construction process which employed the very same traditional methods that were used to build this type of ship in the ancient times.

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Shukunegi
    Getting around
    Directions to "Sengokubune Exhibition Hall – Boat Museum in Shukunegi" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Shukunegi

    Taraibune in Sado

    A Taraibune is a traditional boat originating from Sado Island. It essentially looks like a wooden barrel cut in half and is manoeuvred with a single paddle attached to the front of the boat. Traditionally, they were used to fish mollusks like abalone but nowadays they are a popular attraction among tourists. One may try the taraibune in Ogi harbor but it is perhaps better to go for a ride at the Yajima-Kyojima park instead which is much more scenic. The red-lacquered bridge linking the Ya Island and the Kyo island over the pristine water is often used in promotional material for Sado island because of its unique beauty.

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Ogi
    Getting around
    Directions to "Taraibune in Sado" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogi

    Hakuba Yari, the Highest Onsen in Japan

    If you have climbed mountains of the Japanese Alps or tall volcanoes like mount Fuji, you know how good it feels to bath in a hot spring after a hard day of hiking. Now imagine you arrive at your campsite with a natural outdoor onsen waiting for you with an amazing scenery. This is the dream waiting for you at Hakubayari Onsen, the highest onsen in Japan.

    A mountain hut is built every spring next to the hot spring and disassembled in fall before avalanche season. A tentsite with limited space is also located next to the hot spring (all spaces were filled by noon on the day of our hike).  A small cafeteria serves a simple dinner in the evening and staff can prepare cup noodles at lunchtime. More importantly, they sell beer. Yes, Japanese mountain climbing usually involves beer and most guest of Hakubayari onsen can be seen with a beer in hand at some time during their stay.

    The hut is actually on the way to Hakuba-Yarigatake, a prominent peak in the region. We started our climb of Yarigatake from the hut at around 6 in the morning and summited at around 10:30. The view was spectacular. We could see mount Shirouma, Mount Tateyama, mount Kashima-Yarigatake, and Kurobe Damm.  

    The trail we took back and forth to the summit starts from the Sarukura parking lot. We got a ride from familly member but I know that taxis will drive you up there from Hakuba station. 

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Nagano-ken
    City : Hakuba-mura
    District : Hokujō
    Getting around
    Directions to "Hakuba Yari, the Highest Onsen in Japan" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Hakuba-mura > Hokujō

    Climbing Mount Fuji by the Subashiri Trail

    Some coworkers in my research lab organized a trip to Mount Fuji this past summer. Although it is possible to reach the summit and come back in a single day, like I did before by taking the Fujiyoshida trail, we elected this time to spend a night at a lodge and take the Subashiri trail. We started our hike at the Subashiri fifth station in early afternoon and reached our lodge in late afternoon. At the lodge, we had curry for dinner and spent most of our evening enjoying the beautiful scenery. After a very short and rather uncomfortable night, we woke up at 2 in the morning to start our night ascent of the summit of Mount Fuji. The trail was so crowded and the climb up was slow but it was an exciting experience to see all the hikers heading up the famous volcano with their headlamps. We summited at around 4AM, just in time to witness the amazing sunrise while eating our breakfast. We then headed down by the osunabashiri (Gotemba is the official name) trail which is so sandy that many chose to run all the way down. 

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Shizuoka-ken
    City : Gotenba-shi
    District : Nakabata
    Getting around
    Directions to "Climbing Mount Fuji by the Subashiri Trail" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Shizuoka-ken > Gotenba-shi > Nakabata